US20130169806A1 - Flight system with infrared camera and communication method thereof - Google Patents

Flight system with infrared camera and communication method thereof Download PDF

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US20130169806A1
US20130169806A1 US13/599,954 US201213599954A US2013169806A1 US 20130169806 A1 US20130169806 A1 US 20130169806A1 US 201213599954 A US201213599954 A US 201213599954A US 2013169806 A1 US2013169806 A1 US 2013169806A1
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communication
signals
satellite
infrared camera
flight
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US13/599,954
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Jiping Wu
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Guangzhou SAT Infrared Technology Co Ltd
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Guangzhou SAT Infrared Technology Co Ltd
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Priority to CN201110461065.2A priority Critical patent/CN102519600B/en
Priority to CN201110461065.2 priority
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Assigned to GUANGZHOU SAT INFRARED TECHNOLOGY CO. LTD. reassignment GUANGZHOU SAT INFRARED TECHNOLOGY CO. LTD. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: WU, JIPING
Publication of US20130169806A1 publication Critical patent/US20130169806A1/en
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B7/00Radio transmission systems, i.e. using radiation field
    • H04B7/14Relay systems
    • H04B7/15Active relay systems
    • H04B7/185Space-based or airborne stations; Stations for satellite systems
    • H04B7/18502Airborne stations
    • H04B7/18506Communications with or from aircraft, i.e. aeronautical mobile service
    • H04B7/18508Communications with or from aircraft, i.e. aeronautical mobile service with satellite system used as relay, i.e. aeronautical mobile satellite service
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A62LIFE-SAVING; FIRE-FIGHTING
    • A62CFIRE-FIGHTING
    • A62C3/00Fire prevention, containment or extinguishing specially adapted for particular objects or places
    • A62C3/02Fire prevention, containment or extinguishing specially adapted for particular objects or places for area conflagrations, e.g. forest fires, subterranean fires
    • A62C3/0271Detection of area conflagration fires
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08BSIGNALLING OR CALLING SYSTEMS; ORDER TELEGRAPHS; ALARM SYSTEMS
    • G08B17/00Fire alarms; Alarms responsive to explosion
    • G08B17/12Actuation by presence of radiation or particles, e.g. of infra-red radiation or of ions
    • G08B17/125Actuation by presence of radiation or particles, e.g. of infra-red radiation or of ions by using a video camera to detect fire or smoke
    • GPHYSICS
    • G08SIGNALLING
    • G08BSIGNALLING OR CALLING SYSTEMS; ORDER TELEGRAPHS; ALARM SYSTEMS
    • G08B25/00Alarm systems in which the location of the alarm condition is signalled to a central station, e.g. fire or police telegraphic systems
    • G08B25/01Alarm systems in which the location of the alarm condition is signalled to a central station, e.g. fire or police telegraphic systems characterised by the transmission medium
    • G08B25/08Alarm systems in which the location of the alarm condition is signalled to a central station, e.g. fire or police telegraphic systems characterised by the transmission medium using communication transmission lines

Abstract

A flight system of an infrared camera and its communication method are disclosed. The system includes an infrared camera mounted on an aircraft. The system may also include: a signal collection and process unit provided on the infrared camera for obtaining infrared image signals of a monitored object and transforming the image signals into communication signals; a communication signal transmission unit for receiving the communication signals from the signal collection and process unit, emitting the received communication signals via a communication channel, and receiving communication signals to transmit to the infrared camera; and an on-board satellite communication apparatus for emitting the communication signals to a satellite, and receiving communication signals coming from the satellite to be transmitted to the communication signal transmission unit. The system can be connected to a satellite, ground base station or ground network, and server of a ground control center, through an on-board satellite communication apparatus.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • The present application claims the benefit of foreign priority under 35 U.S.C. 119 based upon Chinese Application 201110461065.2, filed on Dec. 30, 2011, the whole of which is hereby incorporated by reference herein.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present application relates to an infrared camera, and more particularly relates to an infrared camera used for aero-flight and monitoring, and a communication method thereof.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Infrared cameras have been widely used in various fields of society. Conventional infrared cameras are mostly handheld devices that users hold in their hands to operate for image information collections and treatments. Generally, an infrared camera used for monitoring equipments may be connected to a control system through wire or short-distance wireless communication apparatuses. Users define parameters of the infrared camera and perform capture operations through the control system, and obtain information of infrared images or infrared videos captured by the infrared camera through communication apparatuses. At present, conventional wireless communication with the infrared cameras are mainly short-distance communications, such as that performing data exchange with an infrared camera through Bluetooth communication.
  • SUMMARY
  • In order to overcome the deficiencies of the prior art, certain embodiments of the present application provide a flight system of an infrared camera and a communication method thereof. The system is connected to an international communication satellite, a ground base station and a communication network through an on-board satellite communication apparatus. The system transforms the information of infrared images or videos captured by the infrared camera into communication signals so as to be thereby transmitted in real time to a ground control center, while also transmitting control signals or the like coming from the ground control center in real time to the flight system of the infrared camera. Therefore, the aero-flight infrared camera and the ground control center may communicate with each other in real time, which is helpful for a large area monitoring of the monitored object in real time and for fast decision and implementation of subsequent counter measures.
  • In certain embodiments, the flight system of the infrared camera is configured to realize an object of: using an infrared detector circuit treatment module to collect image data of infrared signals, wirelessly transmitting the collected image data, after being compressed and coded, through global system for mobile communications (GSM)/general packet radio service (GPRS) modules to on-board satellite communication apparatus, so as to perform transmission of signals such as communication signals or multimedia information through a ground base station, or realize wireless Wi-Fi (e.g., using the IEEE 802.11 standards) network logging. The communication signals for transmitting and receiving information signals and network logging are transmitted to the international communication satellite through on-board satellite communication apparatuses, and the international communication satellite then contacts with a ground base station or a ground network. A server of the ground control center receives the data of the corresponding infrared image signals from the ground base station or the ground network for further treatments, and transmits the control signals or the like reversely to the flight system of the infrared camera through above communication apparatuses and communication networks.
  • In certain embodiments, the present application provides a flight system of an infrared camera, which comprises an infrared camera mounted on an aircraft. The system also comprises: a signal collection and process unit provided on the infrared camera, for obtaining image signals by capturing infrared images of a monitored object and transforming the image signals into communication signals; a communication signal transmission unit for receiving the communication signals coming from the signal collection and process unit and emitting the received communication signals out via a communication channel, and receiving communication signals from outside so as to be transmitted to the infrared camera; and an on-board satellite communication apparatus for emitting the communication signals coming from the communication signal transmission unit to an international communication satellite through a satellite antenna, and receiving communication signals coming from the international communication satellite so as to be transmitted to the communication signal transmission unit.
  • According to certain embodiments of the present application, the signal collection and process unit comprises: an image collection module comprising an optical lens and an infrared detector circuit, wherein the optical lens collects infrared radiation signals coming from the monitored object so as to capture infrared images of the monitored object, and the infrared detector circuit transforms incident infrared radiation signals passing through the optical lens into electrical signals so as to be output as image signals; an image process module for receiving the image signals and compress the received image signals into binary code flows so as to be output as digital signals; and a central processing unit (CPU) control module for receiving the digital signals and storing the received digital signals in format of files, transforming the stored digital signals into communication signals under communication interface protocols, and transmitting the communication signals, by driving and controlling the communication signal transmission unit, to the on-board satellite communication apparatus via a communication network.
  • According to certain embodiments of the present application, the communication signal transmission unit comprises: a GSM/GPRS module for transmitting the communication signals via a GPRS channel of GPRS network, or transmitting the communication signals in way of short messages via a short message service (SMS) channel, and the GSM/GPRS module comprises: a standard serial port (RS232) bidirectional interface for bidirectionally receiving and transmitting the communication signals; a subscriber identity module (SIM) card connected with the standard RS232 bidirectional interface, wherein the SIM card has short-message functions and GPRS functions for bidirectional transformation between communication signals and multimedia information; and an antenna connected with the SIM card, wherein the antenna emits communication signals or multimedia information to the on-board satellite communication apparatus so as to perform communication through the international communication satellite and a ground base station, and receives communication signals or multimedia information coming from the on-board satellite communication apparatus; and a Wi-Fi circuit module wirelessly connected to a Wi-Fi network, for communicating with the international communication satellite and a ground network through the on-board satellite communication apparatus.
  • According to certain embodiments of the present application, the on-board satellite communication apparatus comprises an on-board mobile communication apparatus, a satellite communication assembly and a satellite antenna, and the on-board satellite communication apparatus is configured to emit the communication signals to the international communication satellite through the on-board satellite communication apparatus so as to perform communication via the ground base station or the ground network, and to receive communication signals coming from the international communication satellite through the satellite antenna so as to be transmitted to the communication signal transmission unit.
  • According to certain embodiments of the present application, the on-board mobile communication apparatus comprises a Wi-Fi network module, the Wi-Fi network module is configured to bidirectionally communicate signals or transmit multimedia information with the Wi-Fi circuit module.
  • According to certain embodiments of the present application, the international communication satellite transmits communication signals coming from the aircraft to a server (4) of the infrared camera through a ground base station or a ground network, and transmits communication signals coming from the server to the on-board satellite communication apparatus through the ground base station or the ground network and also through the international communication satellite, wherein the server is a computer or a mobile phone connected to the communication network.
  • According to certain embodiments of the present application, the infrared camera is rotatably mounted on a body of the aircraft through a pan and tilt, with a transparent hood provided thereon to protect the infrared camera.
  • In order to realize certain embodiments, the present application may also provide a communication method of a flight system of an infrared camera comprising an infrared camera provided on an aircraft, the method comprises steps of: transforming image signals obtained by capturing infrared images of a monitored object by the infrared camera into communication signals; receiving and transmitting communication signals via a communication channel, performing aero-communication of the communication signals in way of free roaming; and emitting the communication signals to an international communication satellite through a satellite antenna, and receiving communication signals coming from the international communication satellite, wherein the communication signals comprises: communication signals obtained by signal transforming and related with image signals of the infrared images, and communication signals coming from a server.
  • According to certain embodiments of the present application, the aero-communication of communication signals comprises a step of transmitting the communication signals via a GPRS channel of a GPRS network, or a step of transmitting the communication signals via a SMS channel in way of short messages.
  • According to certain embodiments of the present application, the aero-communication of communication signals comprises a step of transmitting the communication signals through a Wi-Fi network.
  • According to certain embodiments of the present application, the communication signals coming from the infrared camera are transmitted to the server through an on-board satellite communication apparatus of the flight system of the infrared camera and via the international communication satellite and its ground base station or its ground network.
  • According to certain embodiments of the present application, the communication signals coming from the server are transmitted to the on-board satellite communication apparatus of the flight system of the infrared camera via the ground base station or the ground network, and also through the international communication satellite, and then to the communication signal transmission unit through the on-board satellite communication apparatus, so as to be output to the infrared camera.
  • The flight system of an infrared camera in certain embodiments of the present application is connected to an international communication satellite, a ground base station or a ground network through on-board satellite communication apparatus, thus transmitting the data signals related to the infrared images or videos captured by the infrared camera in real time to a ground control center, while also transmitting the control signals or the like in real time from the ground control center to the flight system of the infrared camera, such that the aero-flight infrared camera and the ground control center are able to communicate with each other in real time, which is helpful for a large area monitoring of the monitored object in real time and for fast decision and implementation of subsequent counter measures.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a diagram showing the work principles of the flight system of an infrared camera according to an embodiment of the present application.
  • FIG. 2 is a block diagram showing the configurations of the flight system of an infrared camera shown in FIG. 1 according to an embodiment of the present application.
  • FIG. 3 is diagram showing an example of the flight system of an infrared camera according to an embodiment of the present application.
  • FIG. 4 is a flow chart showing the communication method of the flight system of an infrared camera according to an embodiment of the present application.
  • Wherein some of the reference numbers are explained as below:
      • 100—flight system
      • 1—infrared camera
        • 11—signal collection and process unit
          • 111—image collection module
          • 112—image process module
          • 113—CPU control module
        • 12—communication signal transmission unit
          • 121—GSM/GPRS module
          • 122—Wi-Fi circuit module
        • 13—on-board satellite communication apparatus
          • 131—on-board mobile communication apparatus
          • 132—satellite communication assembly
          • 133—satellite antenna
      • 2—international communication satellite
      • 3—ground base station
      • 3′—ground network
      • 4—server
      • 5—aircraft
        • 50—aircraft body
        • 51—transparent hood
        • 52—pan and tilt
    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • The foregoing and other objects, aspects and advantages of the present application will become more apparent from the following detailed description of the embodiments in the present application taken in conjunction with the preferred embodiments and accompanying drawings. The embodiments here are only used to illustrate but not to limit the present application.
  • Applicant has recognized that, for some industry, commercial or civil fields, it is sometimes necessary to perform a full-scale aero-monitoring for a monitored object. For example, when monitoring forests for early fire detection, forest fire rescue, or monitoring of agricultural apparatus or the like such as hydro or electric facilities for large-scale croplands, aircrafts such as mini aircrafts for observation, airplanes for aero-spraying water or pesticides, etc. may be used. It is easy to imagine that, if those aircrafts are mounted with infrared cameras thereon, infrared images or infrared videos may be able to be captured for the panorama or local regions of the monitored forests and croplands, and the information of the infrared images or infrared videos captured by the infrared cameras may be collected and analyzed in real time through a ground control center, which would be very helpful for thorough observations and for decisions and implementations of subsequent counter measures.
  • However, until now, no related solution or product for long-distance and wireless communications with respect to aero-working infrared cameras, including how to install infrared cameras on flying objects and how to transmit infrared image information collected by the cameras in real time to a ground control center, have been developed.
  • FIG. 1 shows an embodiment of the flight system 100 of an infrared camera according to certain embodiments of the present application. The flight system 100 of the infrared camera may comprise an infrared camera 1 installed on an aircraft 5 (shown in FIG. 3). The system 100 in this embodiment includes: a signal collection and process unit 11 provided on the infrared camera 1 for obtaining image signals by capturing infrared images of a monitored object and transforming the image signals into communication signals; a communication signal transmission unit 12 for receiving the communication signals coming from the signal collection and process unit 11 and emitting them out via a communication channel, and receiving communication signals from outside so as to be transmitted to the infrared camera 1; and an on-board satellite communication apparatus 13 for emitting the communication signals coming from the communication signal transmission unit 12 to the international communication satellite 2 through a satellite antenna (not shown), and receiving communication signals coming from the international communication satellite 2 so as to be transmitted to the communication signal transmission unit 12.
  • FIG. 2 is a block diagram showing the configurations of the flight system 100 of an infrared camera, such as the infrared camera 1 shown in FIG. 1, according to certain embodiments.
  • As shown in FIG. 2, the signal collection and process unit 11 may comprise: an image collection module 111 comprising an optical lens (not shown) and an infrared detector circuit (not shown), wherein the optical lens collects infrared radiation signals coming from the monitored object so as to capture infrared images of the monitored object, and the infrared detector circuit transforms incident infrared radiation signals passing through the optical lens into electrical signals so as to be output as image signals; an image process module 112 receiving the image signals and compressing them into binary code flows so as to be output as digital signals; and a CPU control module 113 receiving the digital signals and storing the digital signals in format of files, transforming the stored digital signals into communication signals under communication interface protocols, and transmitting the communication signals, by driving and controlling the communication signal transmission unit 12, to the on-board satellite communication apparatus 13 via a communication network.
  • The infrared detector circuit is a device for transforming the incident infrared radiation signals into electrical signals so as to be output. The infrared data collected by the image collection module 111 are transmitted to the image process module 112. The image signals, after being transformed and compressed by the image process module 112, are turned into binary code flows (digital signals). The system uses a CPU control module 113 to manage the binary code flows.
  • According to an embodiment of the present application, the communication signal transmission unit 12 may comprise: a GSM/GPRS module 121 for transmitting the communication signals via a GPRS channel of GPRS network, or transmitting the communication signals in way of short messages via an SMS channel; and a Wi-Fi circuit module 122 wirelessly connected to a Wi-Fi network, and for communicating with a ground network 3′ through the on-board satellite communication apparatus 13.
  • The GSM/GPRS module 121 may comprise: a standard RS232 bidirectional interface 123 for bidirectionally receiving and transmitting the communication signals; a SIM card 124 connected with the standard RS232 bidirectional interface 123, wherein the SIM card 124 has short-message functions and GPRS functions for bidirectional transformation between communication signals and multimedia information; and an antenna 125 connected with the SIM card 124, wherein the antenna 125 emits communication signals or multimedia information to the on-board satellite communication apparatus 13 so as to perform communication through the international communication satellite 2 and the ground base station 3, and receives communication signals or multimedia information coming from the on-board satellite communication apparatus 13. The SIM card 124 here has the same principle as that of a mobile phone SIM card, mainly used to transmit and receive information such as commands or pictures.
  • The Wi-Fi circuit module 122 is connected with the signal collection and process unit 11 and communicates with the on-board satellite communication apparatus 13. The Wi-Fi circuit module 122 performs the wireless connection to a Wi-Fi network, receives the communication signals from the signal collection and process unit 11, transmits the communication signals to the on-board satellite communication apparatus 13 under Wi-Fi wireless communication protocols, so as to be communicated through the international communication satellite 2 and the ground network 3′, and transmits communication signals coming from the on-board satellite communication apparatus 13 under Wi-Fi wireless communication protocols to the signal collection and process unit 11.
  • Both ways of the communication (SIM card communication or Wi-Fi network communication) are available according to certain embodiments of the present application, while the SIM card communication is stronger in function, and simpler in the way of information transmission.
  • According to an embodiment of the present application, the on-board satellite communication apparatus 13 may comprise an on-board mobile communication apparatus 131, a satellite communication assembly 132 and a satellite antenna 133. The on-board satellite communication apparatus 13 is configured to emit the communication signals to the ground base station 3 or the ground network 3′ of the international communication satellite 2 through the on-board satellite communication apparatus 131, and receive communication signals coming from the international communication satellite 2 through the satellite antenna 133 so as to be transmitted to the communication signal transmission unit 12.
  • The on-board mobile communication apparatus 131 may comprise a Wi-Fi network module 134. The Wi-Fi network module 134 is configured to bidirectionally communicate signals or transmit multimedia information with the Wi-Fi circuit module 122.
  • The CPU control module 113 according to certain embodiments of the present application performs functions including driving the GSM/GPRS module 121, controlling Wi-Fi devices and periphery devices, and switching among interface protocols, and the like. The CPU control module 113 may store the binary code flows compressed by the image process module 112 in format of files, and drive the GSM/GPRS module 121 to transmit image data via a GSM network; or transmit data via a network by using Wi-Fi functions.
  • The components of the system 100, except the infrared detector circuit for collecting infrared images, may be designed with different chips according to the development of techniques in different time periods, while the infrared detector circuit may be fixed.
  • The GSM/GPRS module 121 in the present application may transmit data either via the GPRS network (e.g., such as that afforded by China Mobile Communications Corporation), or via short messages (SMS). A user may select one the GPRS channel or the SMS channel according to actual situations, and may switch between those channels at any time. The configuration of the GSM/GPRS module 121 may comprise a standard RS232 bidirectional interface 123, a mobile phone antenna 125, and a SIM card 124 with short-message functions and GPRS functions enabled, the SIM card 124 can transmit and receive multimedia information. The Wi-Fi circuit module may allow the flight system 100 of the infrared camera in the present application to perform Wi-Fi communication functions, and to be wirelessly connected to the network.
  • The flight infrared camera 1 according to certain embodiments of the present application may perform data communication with a server 4 of the ground control center in at least two ways, which are respectively via SIM card short-message transmission and via Wi-Fi network transmission. The international communication satellite 2 transmits communication signals coming from the aircraft to the server 4 of the ground control center through the ground base station 3 or the ground network 3′, and transmits communication signals coming from the server 4 to the on-board satellite communication apparatus 13 through the ground base station 3 or ground network 3′ and also through the international communication satellite 2, wherein the server 4 is a computer or a mobile phone connected to the communication network.
  • FIG. 3 is diagram showing an example of the flight system of an infrared camera 1 according to certain embodiments of the present application. The infrared camera 1 in the present application may be rotatably mounted on a body 50 of the aircraft 5 through a pan and tilt device 52, with a transparent hood 51 provided thereon to protect the infrared camera 1. The aircraft 5 may be one of mini aircrafts used for observation or airplanes for aero-spraying water or pesticides, for example.
  • The flight system 100 of an infrared camera 1 according to certain embodiments of the present application includes two portions, one is the on-board satellite communication apparatus 13, another is a portion of the infrared camera circuits (comprising the communication signal transmission unit 12 and the signal collection and process unit 11 mounted on the infrared camera 1). Those two portions may be mounted separately. Since there are some airplanes which have on-board satellite communication apparatuses already mounted thereon, it is only needed to attach another portion thereto. The on-board satellite communication apparatus 13 may be mounted in a cabin of the aircraft. The communication signal transmission unit 12 (for signal collections and treatment, and transmitting the signals back to the ground through the on-board satellite communication apparatus 13) may be set on a head portion of the airplane.
  • Hereafter, the communication method of the flight system of an infrared camera according to an embodiment of the present application will be described in detail in conjunction with FIG. 4.
  • As shown in FIG. 4, the method 400 comprises steps of: transforming 402 image signals obtained by capturing infrared images of a monitored object by an infrared camera 1 into communication signals; receiving 404 and transmitting the received communication signals via a communication channel, accomplishing aero-communication of the communication signals in way of free roaming; emitting 406 the communication signals to an international communication satellite 2 through a satellite antenna, and receiving communication signals coming from the international communication satellite 2; and accomplishing 408 bidirectional communication between the system and the server through the international communication satellite and the ground base station or the ground network. The method 400 may also include transmitting 410 the received communication signals to the infrared camera. The communication signals may include: communication signals obtained by signal transforming and related with image signals of the infrared images; and communication signals coming from a server 4.
  • The aero-communication of communication signals comprises transmitting the communication signals via a GPRS channel of GPRS network, or transmitting the communication signals via an SMS channel in way of short messages. The aero-communication of communication signals comprises transmitting the communication signals through a Wi-Fi network.
  • The communication signals coming from the infrared camera 1 are transmitted to a server 4 by an on-board satellite communication apparatus 13 of the flight system of the infrared camera through an international communication satellite 2 and its ground base station 3 or its ground network 3′.
  • On the other hand, the communication signals coming from the server 4 are transmitted to the on-board satellite communication apparatus 13 of the flight system of the infrared camera through the ground base station 3 or the ground network 3′, and also through the international communication satellite 2, and then to the communication signal transmission unit 12 through the on-board satellite communication apparatus 13, so as to be output to the infrared camera 1.
  • The communication signals coming from the server 4 may comprise infrared camera control signals, voice signals, video or image display signals, which are emitted from a ground control center through a server or a communication apparatus, and used for controlling capture actions and angles of the infrared camera 1 on the aircraft, so as to perform better real-time observation for the monitored object, and to transmit commands related to subsequent treatments and counter measures.
  • Specifically, for example, the control signals for the infrared camera transmitted by the server 4 may be used for controlling a series of operations of the infrared camera, wherein the operations comprise collecting and transmitting voice and image information, lens focusing (to realize better information collection by way of lens focusing according to actual situations), and so on. The signals received by the server 4 may comprise information transmitted back from the aircraft and information of voices and videos, and so forth.
  • The ground communication of the present application may adopt the site mode. In order to guarantee the aero-communication not affecting the flight safety, the flight system of an infrared camera may perform aero-communication in way of free roaming, with the SIM card 124 and the GSM/GPRS module 121 combined with each other, which is equivalent to setting a mobile site on the flight system 100. When the GSM/GPRS module 121 is started up to perform data transmission in way of short messages (SMS), the GSM/GPRS module 121 is not directly connected to the ground communication network, and short-message signals may be firstly transmitted to the on-board satellite communication apparatus 13, then to the international communication satellite 2 by the on-board satellite communication apparatus 13, and then to the ground base station 3 by the international communication satellite 2, finally accomplishing data exchange with the server or communication apparatuses of the ground control center through the ground base station 3. In this process, it is equivalent to simulating a GSM mobile phone network in a cabin of the aircraft 5, which only needs very low emitting energy to perform aero-communication, thereby falling within the range of the aircraft security operation.
  • Similar to the way of short-message aero-transmission, when using Wi-Fi functions, since the on-board satellite communication apparatus 13 has a Wi-Fi network module on board, the communication signals on the network are connected to the on-board satellite communication apparatus 13. For example, the communication signals are transmitted to the international communication satellite 2 through the on-board satellite communication apparatus 13, and then connected to the ground network 3′, and the server 4 may obtain related information through the ground network 3′, and vice versa.
  • The SIM card 124 and the Wi-Fi circuit module 122 are two relatively separated portions, which are respectively used for two different ways of signals transmission. The flight system 100 of an infrared camera in the present application may freely choose one of those two ways of communication.
  • Although embodiments have been described with reference to a number of illustrative embodiments thereof, it should be understood that numerous other modifications and embodiments can be devised by those skilled in the art that will fall within the spirit and scope of the principles of embodiments. More particularly, various variations and modifications are possible in the component parts and/or arrangements of the subject combination arrangement within the scope of the disclosure, the drawings and the appended claims. In addition to variations and modifications in the component parts and/or arrangements, alternative uses will also be apparent to those skilled in the art. The scope of the present invention should, therefore, be determined only by the following claims.

Claims (12)

1. A flight system of an infrared camera including an infrared camera mounted on an aircraft, the system also comprising:
a signal collection and process unit provided on the infrared camera for obtaining image signals by capturing infrared images of a monitored object and transforming the image signals into communication signals;
a communication signal transmission unit for receiving the communication signals coming from the signal collection and process unit and emitting the received communication signals out via a communication channel, and receiving communication signals from outside to be transmitted to the infrared camera; and
an on-board satellite communication apparatus for emitting the communication signals coming from the communication signal transmission unit to a communication satellite through a satellite antenna, and receiving communication signals coming from the communication satellite to be transmitted to the communication signal transmission unit.
2. The flight system of an infrared camera according to claim 1, wherein the signal collection and process unit comprises:
an image collection module comprising an optical lens and an infrared detector circuit, wherein the optical lens collects infrared radiation signals coming from the monitored object so as to capture infrared images of the monitored object, and the infrared detector circuit transforms incident infrared radiation signals passing through the optical lens into electrical signals to be output as image signals;
an image process module for receiving the image signals and compressing the received image signals into binary code flows to be output as digital signals; and
a central processing unit (CPU) control module for receiving the digital signals and storing the received digital signals in format of files, transforming the stored digital signals into communication signals under communication interface protocols, and transmitting the communication signals, by driving and controlling the communication signal transmission unit, to the on-board satellite communication apparatus via a communication network.
3. The flight system of an infrared camera according to claim 1, wherein the communication signal transmission unit comprises:
a global system for mobile communications (GSM)/general packet radio service (GPRS) module for transmitting the communication signals via a GPRS channel of a GPRS network, or transmitting the communication signals in way of short messages via a short message service (SMS) channel, and the GSM/GPRS module comprises:
a serial bidirectional interface for bidirectionally receiving and transmitting the communication signals;
a subscriber identity module (SIM) card connected with the serial bidirectional interface, wherein the SIM card has short-message functions and GPRS functions for bidirectional transformation between communication signals and multimedia information; and
an antenna connected with the SIM card, wherein the antenna emits communication signals or multimedia information to the on-board satellite communication apparatus to perform communication through the communication satellite and a ground base station, and receives communication signals or multimedia information coming from the on-board satellite communication apparatus; and
a Wi-Fi circuit module wirelessly connected to a Wi-Fi network, for communicating with the communication satellite and a ground network through the on-board satellite communication apparatus.
4. The flight system of an infrared camera according to claim 3, wherein the on-board satellite communication apparatus comprises an on-board mobile communication apparatus, a satellite communication assembly and a satellite antenna, and the on-board satellite communication apparatus is configured to emit the communication signals to the communication satellite through the on-board satellite communication apparatus to perform communication via the ground base station or the ground network, and to receive communication signals coming from the communication satellite through the satellite antenna to be transmitted to the communication signal transmission unit.
5. The flight system of an infrared camera according to claim 4, wherein the on-board mobile communication apparatus comprises a Wi-Fi network module, the Wi-Fi network module is configured to bidirectionally communicate signals or transmit multimedia information with the Wi-Fi circuit module.
6. The flight system of an infrared camera according to claim 1, wherein the communication satellite transmits communication signals coming from the aircraft to a server of the infrared camera through a ground base station or a ground network, and transmits communication signals coming from the server to the on-board satellite communication apparatus through the ground base station or the ground network and also through the communication satellite, wherein the server is a computer or a mobile phone connected to the communication network.
7. The flight system of an infrared camera according to claim 1, wherein the infrared camera is rotatably mounted on a body of the aircraft through a pan and tilt device, with a transparent hood provided thereon to protect the infrared camera.
8. A communication method of a flight system of an infrared camera comprising an infrared camera provided on an aircraft, the method comprising:
transforming image signals obtained by capturing infrared images of a monitored object by the infrared camera into communication signals;
receiving and transmitting communication signals via a communication channel, performing aero-communication of the communication signals in way of free roaming; and
emitting the communication signals to a communication satellite through a satellite antenna, and receiving communication signals coming from the communication satellite, wherein the communication signals comprise: communication signals obtained by signal transforming and related with image signals of the infrared images, and communication signals coming from a server.
9. The communication method of a flight system of an infrared camera according to claim 8, wherein the aero-communication of communication signals comprises transmitting the communication signals via a general packet radio service (GPRS) channel of a GPRS network, or transmitting the communication signals via a short message service (SMS) channel in way of short messages.
10. The communication method of a flight system of an infrared camera according to claim 8, wherein the aero-communication of communication signals comprises transmitting the communication signals through a Wi-Fi network.
11. The communication method of a flight system of an infrared camera according to claim 8, wherein the communication signals coming from the infrared camera are transmitted to the server through an on-board satellite communication apparatus of the flight system of the infrared camera and via the communication satellite and its ground base station or its ground network.
12. The communication method of a flight system of an infrared camera according to claim 11, wherein the communication signals coming from the server are transmitted to the on-board satellite communication apparatus of the flight system of the infrared camera via the ground base station or the ground network, and also through the communication satellite, and then to the communication signal transmission unit through the on-board satellite communication apparatus, so as to be output to the infrared camera.
US13/599,954 2011-12-30 2012-08-30 Flight system with infrared camera and communication method thereof Abandoned US20130169806A1 (en)

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